Tips for Optimising Impulse Purchases

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 28 May 2019

Impulse buying is a tactic that sometimes gets overlooked by consumers, but it plays a vital role in retail. How can you use this marketing strategy to capture the attention of consumers without appearing cunning?

What is an Impulse Purchase?

An impulse purchase is an unplanned, spur of the moment decision to buy. According to research, these purchases are triggered by emotions, and more often than not, well-crafted promotional messaging is what sways the consumer towards buying a product. The most common forms of impulse purchases include small goods (i.e. chocolates, clothing, magazines, etc.) to larger items (i.e. cars, works of art, jewellery, etc.).

The Importance of Colour

According to psychological research, certain colours can be used to elicit a particular response. Red is often associated with excitement, energy, passion and desire. The shade triggers action, so it’s best used as a CTA, such as a ‘Buy Now’ button. You’ll notice that most brick and mortar sale signs are red, as they evoke an urgency for consumers to purchase the sale items. So, where do you use this? Red is a more effective colour for impulse purchases, especially as a CTA button on e-commerce platforms. It’s also a powerful tool for B2B software vendors. According to a Hubspot A/B test, red out-converted green as a CTA button by 21 per cent. This is consistent when compared to other colours, too. It appears that the brighter the colour, the more likely the consumer will pay attention.

Green is an interesting colour that often captures the consumer’s attention. When used correctly, it can elicit feelings of hope, balance and reassurance. It’s best used for retailers selling consumer electronics, and is a great option for CTAs such as ‘Add to Cart’. It doesn’t evoke urgency, but it does calm the customer and reassures them to purchase the products.

Blue is a shade that creates feelings of tranquillity and stability, which is best suited to companies in the financial sector. Blue has been linked to lowering signs of anxiety, which then indirectly gets the consumer to purchase. As red elicits urgency, blue counterbalances it. For optimum results, opt for the cool shade as a background or as a CTA, such as ‘Add to Cart’.

FOMO Marketing

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) marketing offers a simple premise. The principle behind it suggests that an offer is so good, the consumer doesn’t want to miss the ‘amazing’ opportunity. According to market research, consumers would rather make an impulse purchase than feel regret failing to buy an item. This is a risky strategy from the offset, as some consumers will see this as an obvious tactic to drive more sales, but it’s worth a shot anyway.

To achieve the right tactics behind FOMO marketing, be sure that you set a strict time limit. The pressure of a ticking clock results in consumers purchasing something, due to the fear of missing out. But, you have to be sure that you stick to this time limit. If a sale is extended for a long period of time or fails to end when expected, it can lower the brand’s reputation and create a stir amongst customers, who thought they were getting the best deal.

Influencer Marketing

It may seem like Influencer marketing is slowly losing its appeal, but the use of influencers, celebrity endorsements and reviews make great EDM subject lines, testimonials and provide extra content for your platform. In 2018, the most popular social media platform was Instagram, with 87.1 per cent of users voting it as the number one platform for the year. Keep in mind, this is a great option for companies who already have a strong social media strategy.

Bundles of Options

Using bundles, ‘Buy One Get One Free’ or ‘Buy One Get Half Off’ tactics are often associated with impulse purchases. For retailers who offer services, bundles are a great way to incite FOMO – they’re going to miss out on other great products if they don’t purchase this deal. For retailers who sell apparel, homewares or other products, it’s best to use the latter two options. although using the term ’50 per cent off’, opt for the ‘Buy One Get One Free’ – consumers love the idea of getting something for free, thus increasing their chance of purchasing something impulsively.

Free Shipping

It’s no surprise that consumers are attracted to the idea of free shipping. Nine out of ten consumers say that free shipping is the number one incentive to shop online more, with 93 per cent of shoppers encouraged to buy more products if free shipping is offered. Although there are downsides to the free shipping phenomenon, holding a sale that offers the no shipping fee is sometimes better received than ‘per cent off’ sales.

Ultimately, impulse shopping is about letting customers do the thinking. If they sense a great deal, or an opportunity that’s too good to pass up, they’re more likely to make a purchase. Be smart about the approach, and always keep track of how consumers respond to different campaigns.

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